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Publisher's Summary

David Farland's acclaimed Runelords series introduces a world where the social structure is based upon the magical exchange of "endowments" such as stamina, grace, and wit. The Runelords are those who receive these endowments from their vassals, becoming superhuman in exchange for the responsibility of caring for those they have deprived of strength, or beauty, or sight.

Young Prince Gaborn of Mystarria is traveling in disguise on a journey to ask for the hand of the lovely Princess Iome of Sylvarresta. Armed with his gifts of strength and perception, the prince and his bodyguard stop at a local tavern, where they spot a pair of assassins who have their sights set on Princess Iome's father. As they race to warn the king, they realize that more than the royal family is at risk - the very fate of the Earth is in jeopardy.

©1998 David Farland; (P)2008 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.0 out of 5.0
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    352
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    163
  • 2 Stars
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    30

Performance

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    11

Story

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  • Overall
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  • Story

a joy to listen to.

I've read this book when it was first published in paperback. The altar rock the characters to life it maybe understand or the emotion in this book that I missed. in the first reading.
I would highly recommend listening to this book if you have the opportunity.

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I love David Farland's work

Roy Porter is a great narrator for this book. it is a great performance. just excellent.

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Very interesting magic system!

One of my criteria for epic fantasy is the magic system has to be unique. I also enjoy learning about it as the characters in the book discover more about it (see Way of Kings for a perfect example). In this book, there is an established magic system that is very well known to the characters. Despite that not being something I like all the time, it was extremely interesting! It's also a bit dark.

Gaboran (sp?), the protagonist, is a naive princeling and sometimes a little whiney. I think that's the point, however, and he does make big strides in character at the end of the book. His journey is interesting and compelling. His personal body guard guy, however, is probably the most interesting character to me. The author developed him well and I'm interested in his story as the I listen to more of the series.

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  • James
  • Long Beach, NY, United States
  • 02-04-14

Nice Book

Where does The Sum of All Men rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Not the very best but it was good and enjoyable

Any additional comments?

The beginning was a little slow, but it picked up nicely.

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Cool magic system, Heavy Socialist overtone

Would you try another book from David Farland and/or Ray Porter?

I will pass on any further Farland books. I consider myself an individualist and much of the first 3 Runelords books centered around sacrificing the self for the greater good of the collective. The whole magic system is built around this premise. That being said, the book was still well written and entertaining in many parts. <br/>Ray Porter is a great narrator. No complaints.

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Sum of all Men

If you could sum up The Sum of All Men in three words, what would they be?

Power Ambition Right

Would you recommend The Sum of All Men to your friends? Why or why not?

This is a book that I think some people would enjoy but maybe not a lot of my friends would. If they were looking for a book to read and had read most of my top ten books then I would recommend this series.

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The Sum of All Men: The Runelords, Book One

This book has possibilities. It attempts to be an epic fantasy series and succeeds up to a point. The story line is great with great powerful lords and the poor wretches on which the lords step on. I liked the length and the narrator was good. Although there were some mispronunciations, they weren't terribly annoying. Other than a few gramatical mistakes the writing was interesting and the dialogue of "Gaborn" (I have NO idea how his name is spelled having only heard it.) was deep and thoughtful. I really liked his character because how many men are really going to behave that way?! Loving a woman no matter what is an attractive quality in a man! The thing that disappointed me, or made me not rate it 5, was the constant explanations of how the gifts affected the lords in general. It was good in that you really could begin to imagine it, but once you understand it, you don't need it explained again and again ;) I'm listening to it again before I get the 2nd book in the series. I'm hoping for lots of growth. This was a really good start.Let's hear it for honor, goodness and true love!

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  • Carmela
  • Walterboro, SC, USA
  • 04-07-13

performance? what performance?

What did you like best about The Sum of All Men? What did you like least?

The story was interesting but there was no performance. The rate and tone of the reading in the middle of a battle is the same as during a courtship scene... all the same- very boring reading. I would like to get more of the books of the series but maybe I'll get them paperback not audio because of the narrator.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Sum of All Men?

There is very touching moment that is indicated by the cover art of the paperback version but it would be a spoiler so I don't want to put it here.

What didn’t you like about Ray Porter’s performance?

Reading all the words in the right order is not a performance. It was very hard to listen and I didn't understand way because the story was interesting until I realized the reader reads all the scenes exactly the same, no excitement no tranquility just a steady sad reading.

Any additional comments?

Can we get the last book read by someone else?

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • John
  • Sumter, SC, United States
  • 12-22-12

Blah! Not my thing.

What disappointed you about The Sum of All Men?

Heros taking the gifts of others.

Any additional comments?

The performance was good. I did not care for the story. I am usually pretty forgiving. I am sure some will like this but it was just not for me.

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Great start!

Would you listen to The Sum of All Men again? Why?

Idealy, I feel that a first novel in a series should never be able to get more than 4 stars. When you begin a journey with a new story, you need time to get to know the characters. You need to see if the story has the potential to capture your imagination and have you wanting more. You have to know that the majority of the story has not been told before you get to the end, and that is what this book does for me. I don't feel I can rate it 5 stars because I do not yet know if all of the mysteries that have been spelled out, will be resolved in a satisfactory way so it gets 4 stars. All in all, I think this was a good start to a fantasy series and I am eager to make it through the next audio book!